The assignment is to write about something you’ve lost and then make this part of a three-part series
I was once an okay dancer, but I got into grad school for dance because of my talent for choreography. I had to take technique classes with the undergraduate students. They were better dancers than I was, but I persisted, and I improved. I became an okay dancer with some technical skills. I would never get into one of the top companies in New York, but I could have gotten into a company. Maybe a company that paid its dancers a small salary. Thing is, I didn’t really want to be in a dance company. I realized after four years of taking seven technique classes a week; I didn’t like dancing that much. I liked dancing, but it wasn’t my passion.
So I resigned myself to being a person who has undergraduate and graduate degrees in something they have no plans to use. Then I moved to Bloomington, IN and got involved in a dance company that offered no pay except for free dance classes. I got REALLY involved with this group because it allowed me to keep dancing and have a social life. At some point, the work required to be in this company outweighed the rewards.
This story is beginning to take too long to tell so I’ll move on to my hysterectomy in 2009. I had my uterus removed because of a fibroid tumor that started to get too large to be tolerated. After the surgery, I stopped dancing so I could recover. I think that’s when my body stopped being the body I used to know. I won’t go into details because I’m sure a fairly complex set of circumstances contributed to my sense of being unfit for dance. A major contributor to my problem was my weak ankles. I finally went to a foot doctor who recognized that my high arches were causing the problem. He prescribed orthotics and physical therapy. Now I’m on the upswing, but I have a ways to go. I understand that part of my problem is really tight hip flexors. This makes it seem as if my leg muscles are weak. They aren’t really all that weak, rather they are fighting against too tight antagonist muscles. I don’t know if antagonist is the word I’m looking for, but I’m going to leave it.
I won’t go into too much detail about how I seem to come down with what feels like a mild flu every month. I’ve chalked that up to PMS. This faux flu feeling has been causing me to exercise less because I just don’t have the energy. I found however, that when I went to PT during this flu-like time I was forced to push through the tiredness. That means I can work out hard most days of the month. That’s what I need to do. Will that improve my dancing? Will getting in better shape bring my dancing body back? We’ll see.
I just realized that this post can easily be serialized as I track my progress in reclaiming my body.
Next time I’ll write about visualizing myself dancing well. I should also talk about making a plan to get fitter.